EBSCO eBooks Collection Quick Bites: EBSCO eBooks and Accessibility


When time is short and the need for new and in-demand eBooks across a variety of subjects is high, it’s easy to stay informed on new and updated eBook collections from EBSCO by watching our short and efficient Collection Quick Bite sessions.

In our third session, meet Collection Development Specialist Ivy Weir and learn more about WCAG-compliant collections, Benetech-Certified publishers, and how EBSCO is working toward creating the most user-friendly e-book experience possible.

Check out the companion info sheet to see a list of WCAG AA-compliant collections and Benetech-Certified publishers available through EBSCO eBooks.

Did you miss the first and second sessions? View our series webpage.

Stay informed about future updates, new collections and more by subscribing to the EBSCO eBooks newsletter ECM Advisor.

Transcript | Download

Hello, and welcome to Quick Bites. In these series of short videos, you'll learn more about the EBSCO eBooks Collection Development team and some of the projects we've been working on.

In this video, I'll be discussing the ways that we are working to make accessible content easily findable for our customers and our commitment to accessibility overall.

I'm Ivy Weir, a collection management specialist on our team. Before coming to EBSCO, I worked primarily in public libraries, and also in trade publishing. On the team, we each work across all subject areas, but my particular areas as a subject matter expert are juvenile and young adult titles, books for public libraries, books and publishers in the United Kingdom, and books for undergraduate and community college programs.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are important topics for libraries right now, and we know that inclusivity goes beyond the content in titles. Accessible eBook content makes library experiences more equitable for all users.

At EBSCO, we're dedicated to helping expand accessibility and are proud to share that for the past two years, EBSCO eBooks has received a gold-rated, 100% score from ASPIRE about the quality of our accessibility statement. ASPIRE is an organization that helps publishers and platforms share their stories in a transparent position on their accessibility, and we're very proud of this score.

One of the terms you may hear a lot when talking about eBooks and web accessibility is WCAG. WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Youth guidelines help make the web more accessible to a broader range of users, and are developed with cooperation between individuals and organizations worldwide. There are three levels of success criteria in WCAG standards, and for our platform, we target WCAG AA 2.1.

We also work closely with our publisher partners on the topic of accessibility. We are proud to work with those who are pursuing Benetech Global Certified Accessible Certification, and EBSCO eBooks product management and publisher relations communicate regularly with our publisher partners to encourage them to pursue accessible format and WCAG AA 2.1. I'm excited to share that as of this video, 22 of our publishers are providing over 75% of their frontlist eBook content to meet WCAG 2.1 standards.

Another way that we work to ensure eBooks are accessible includes encouraging our publisher partners to provide as much content in EPUB as possible. Using a proprietary service, EPUBs are run through the ACE EPUB checker built by Daisy, which captures pass/fail measurements on over 80 accessibility elements. When we have those EPUBs on the platform, we maintain a fully featured online EPUB viewer to ensure that users with accessibility needs have an optimal experience with our eBooks.

And as I mentioned before, we are in close contact with our publisher partners and keep them informed of what percentage of their EPUB catalog is meeting with WCAG AA standards, and provide them with other accessibility data.

If you're looking for eBooks that are accessible, we've made it easier to find them. We've created several curated collections that bring together accessible content from the last year, and feature popular titles from top publishers like Bloomsbury, De Gruyter, Elsevier, Penguin Random House, and Wiley, among others.

Here's the list of our WCAG-compliant collections by subject. These collections are available to browse on EBSCOhost Collection Manager, or on GOBI as Spotlight Lists. And here's the selection of some of the most popular titles at the time of this recording that are in our WCAG-compliant featured collections from years 2021 and 2022.

That concludes this quick look into accessibility at EBSCO eBooks. I hope you'll check out more of our accessibility resources online. To keep up with EBSCO's accessibility efforts, as well as other topics related to our collections and products, you can stay informed in a variety of ways. Be sure to check out the companion flyer to this video for links to EBSCO resources.

Thanks so much for sharing your time with us today, and I hope you'll keep coming back for more of our Quick Bites.

Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors.